“One nostalgic appeal of the “Mad Men” television series is the way it evokes memories of certain amusingly dated aspects of business life, like “support staff,” and even “secretaries.” Support staff is becoming a quaint, antiquarian concept, a historical curiosity like typewriters, stenography and executive washrooms. We all have our own computers, of course, and we type and print our own letters, copy our own reports and mail our own missives. Even those in senior management perform these humdrum jobs.”—Our Unpaid, Extra Shadow Work - NYTimes.com
“On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a “foreclosure mill” firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes. Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.”—What the Costumes Reveal - NYTimes.com
“The library is the great leveler for the masses," Poloncarz said. "It’s the most public thing you have. It’s free, it’s open to anybody, at any age, no matter what’s in your wallet." Poloncarz said he does not think a special taxing district is the best way to fund the libraries. He said that solution is too cumbersome and adds an extra layer of bureaucracy. "A special district is a government," he said. "It has its own taxes, its own board of directors, its own governance.”—Public libraries are an issue in executive race - Erie County - The Buffalo News
…even the most unusual cultural objects in Buffalo find their own level at some point and the person who lives next door is as likely to be a jewel thief or a symphony oboe player as they are to be an office worker or a street worker.
“Buffalo, of course, has enormous problems, from its shameful third-place poverty ranking to failing public schools, segregated housing and functional illiteracy. Combating those issues doesn’t mean having to ignore the city’s strengths, Goldman said. “We are both poor and a city with unbelievable assets. To neglect those while we’re trying to deal with larger, global issues of poverty would be a mistake,” he said.”—New for Buffalo: A superiority complex - Preservation - The Buffalo News
“He says he likes the fact that the proposed regulations, complex as they are, make top management and boards responsible for compliance. “If they think it’s too complicated, they have no one to blame but themselves,” he said of the banks.”—Volcker Rule Grows From Simple to Complex - NYTimes.com
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
“A 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that the women actually earned 8 percent more than the men. Women are also more likely than men to go to college: in 2010, 55 percent of all college graduates ages 25 to 29 were female.”—All the Single Ladies - Magazine - The Atlantic
And don’t go all Rick Santelli on me about the injustice of paying for your asshole neighbor’s granite countertop. We are bailing out a banking system that served as a vast criminal conspiracy built around plausible deniability and limited liability. We are bailing out “savers”, who not only demand to be made whole by the government on risky loans they chose to make to banks for profit, but are smugly self-righteous about it, like it’s their “right” because after all they were the “prudent ones”. Of the three groups we might bail out, these crybabies and criminals are no more deserving than some nearly-broke bastard who believed his financial adviser, his banker, his mortgage broker, and the Wall Street Journal op-ed page when they told him that a cash-out refi was as good as money earned, and that granite countertops were a luxury that would pay for themselves. Don’t get me wrong — I’d rather we could bail out no one, just do a rip-off-the-band-aid kind of reset and let everybody take their lumps. But households and firms in debt are by far the most sympathetic villain in this horror show we wake up to every day.
“Any change that chips away at the gridlock in the Senate should be encouraged. Over the last three or four years, Senate Republicans have made a mockery of the minority party’s protections, routinely filibustering virtually every bill, blocking nominations and spending hours on political stunts designed to stymie and embarrass President Obama and the Democrats. They are doing this with far greater frequency than Democrats did when they were in the minority, helping to explain why Congress has the lowest approval ratings ever measured. (Democrats had a chance to cut filibuster abuse earlier this year but were too timid to seize it.)”—Chipping Away at Gridlock in the Senate - NYTimes.com
“And there is also no doubt that Apple’s devices have benefited from group infatuation, a phenomenon that has often favored a product or a class of designs based on an allegiance that the devotees themselves have difficulty defining in coherent terms (in contrast, during its peak power Microsoft suffered from the reverse attitude—excessive criticism). In its quotidian extremes this loyalty has been manifested by people willing to pay high premiums for German engineering even after decades of Consumer Reports evaluations have failed to demonstrate any stunning superiority of German cars over Hondas and Toyotas.”—Why Jobs Is No Edison — The American Magazine
“In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst — but bankers were bailed out by taxpayers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers’ sins. And, in the third act, bankers showed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support — and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts — behind politicians who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.”—Confronting the Malefactors - NYTimes.com